ALLVM: Forthcoming Project to Ship All Software As LLVM IR

Written by Michael Larabel in LLVM on 17 October 2016 at 07:13 AM EDT. 54 Comments
Interest is growing around shipping software as LLVM IR and will be discussed at this year's LLVM Developers' Meeting.

Various parties have been investigating using LLVM IR as the medium for shipping software while doing the final conversion on the host for execution. The aim would be to provide greater performance, security, and other benefits by the distributed software being LLVM IR.

There's going to be a session about it at the 2016 LLVM Developers' Meeting. The session organizers have also commented on the mailing list about part of their push for this session: ALLVM.

Student developers at UIUC have been working on this new ALLVM project that's focused on shipping software as LLVM IR. Developer Will Dietz explained, "We have a project in our group exploring the benefits of shipping *all* software on a system as IR. We are building a prototype ALLVM system that makes it relatively easy to package and ship software in this way. We are researching the benefits this could provide for performance and for general software development. We aim to make the ALLVM prototype available in open source form to enable other groups to explore these goals."

From the comments on the mailing list thread so far, it wasn't clear if ALLVM will be focused on target-dependent LLVM IR or if there's a push for a more universal/target-agnostic format for being able to run the IR-based applications on any platform. ALLVM could be an interesting project to monitor moving forward once it's been opened up and more details emerge.
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